Imbolo Mbue
Imbolo Mbue

Cameroon writer Imbolo Mbue has signed a seven figure dollar deal for her new book The Longings of Jende Jonga with publisher Random House taking its North American rights at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The book agent who signed the deal on behalf of the author is Susan Golomb.
The Frankfurt Book Fair is one of the biggest book fairs on the planet with hundreds of thousands visiting the German town for its events. This year the fair has seen two major book deals being signed for some of the hottest writers.
Publishers Weekly reports that one of the books which has gone under the gavel is a book by Cameroonian writer Imbolo Mbue. Her book The Longings of Jende Jonga goes with the immigrant tale that has started taking root in literature from the continent. It opens in New York City in 2007 and focuses on the West African immigrant of its title, who lands a job as a chauffeur for a high level executive at Lehman Brothers. Jende’s family becomes close to his employer’s—Jende’s wife is quickly hired by the exec’s wife—only to have both families thrown into disarray when the 2008 financial collapse hits. You can read more about the deal here.
Giving us all hope in the literature game Mbue, who moved to the U.S. in 1998 and lives in Manhattan with her husband and young son has only one published story set to appearing in a forthcoming issue of Threeprenny Review. Shelling out millions for a book for a writer without work out there means that this book will be a blockbuster.
For those who haven’t been published the message surely must be; keep writing. Good luck.